Ear to the ground:
“They still have raves?”
– One local’s surprised reaction when hearing another’s explanation of what he did on Saturday night

Neighbor in need

The benefit planned for longtime Durango Herald “Neighbors” columnist Ann Butler, which was talked about in last week’s “Top Shelf,” has unexpectedly been cancelled over a perceived conflict of interest.

Event organizers will issue refunds to anyone who may have bought a ticket for the Sept. 9 event.
The benefit was planned to help Butler defray medical costs. She has struggled with autoimmune disease for more than a decade. Two strains of E. coli attacked her blood and kidneys in 2005, and a series of subsequent ailments since have sent her medical bills skyrocketing.

Donations are still being collected for Butler via an account set up at First National Bank of Durango. Checks can be made out to the “Ann E. Butler Benefit Account” and brought to the bank or mailed to First National Bank of Durango, P.O. Box 2910, Durango, 81302.

Silvers and stouts

It may not be the Beer Olympics, but in Colorado, the State Fair Microbrew competition just might be a close second. And last weekend in Pueblo, Durango was well represented by local brewmeisters Durango Brewing Co.

Recognized as Durango’s oldest brewery, Durango Brewing took home silvers in the dark lager (Durango Dark Lager) and golden ale (Durango Golden Ale) categories. This marks the ninth consecutive year Durango Brewing has earned top state honors.

“We are always excited to be recognized in competitions of this type,” Durango Brewing owner Mark Harvey said. “The medals validate our efforts to make great beer using quality ingredients.”

In all, its been a good summer for Durango Brewing.  Sales hit a new record high and the addition of new fermentation tanks increased production by 35 percent.

Ska Brewing has also been cranking up production with its new Autumnal Mole Stout (that’s mole, accent on the “e,” as in the spicy Mexican condiment, not the burrowing rodent). The stout is part of Ska’s Seasonal Stout Program, which features a new canned stout every four months. The releases are timed near the equinox or solstice, with the Mole Stout scheduled to hit the shelves Sept. 22.

The Mole Stout is described as an ale brewed with cocoa nibs, spices and three varieties of chile peppers: mulato, ancho and Hatch green chiles, (also known as Anaheim peppers.)

Ska President and Co-founder Dave Thibodeau said the combo of milk stout sweetness and chile spice and flavor seemed like a perfect taste for autumn.